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Man talking with healthcare provider about his diabetes and hearing loss.

Your body is similar to an ecosystem. In nature, all of the fish and birds will suffer if something happens to the pond; and all of the animals and plants that depend on the birds will disappear if the birds disappear. We might not know it but our body works on very similar principals. That’s why a wide variety of ailments can be connected to something that at first appears so isolated like hearing loss.

This is, in a sense, proof of the interdependence of your body and it’s similarity to an ecosystem. Your brain might also be impacted if something affects your hearing. These situations are known as comorbid, a fancy (and specialized) term that demonstrates a connection between two disorders without necessarily articulating a cause-and-effect connection.

We can discover a lot about our bodies’ ecosystem by comprehending disorders that are comorbid with hearing loss.

Diseases Associated With Hearing Loss

So, let’s suppose that you’ve been noticing the symptoms of hearing loss for the past few months. You’ve been having a tough time making out conversation when you go out to eat. You’ve been cranking the volume up on your tv. And some sounds seem so far away. At this point, most people will schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist (this is the smart thing to do, actually).

Whether you recognize it or not, your hearing loss is linked to a number of other health conditions. Comorbidity with hearing loss has been documented with the following health ailments.

  • Depression: a whole range of concerns can be the consequence of social isolation due to hearing loss, some of which relate to your mental health. So depression and anxiety, not surprisingly, have been found in several studies, to have a high rate of comorbidity with hearing loss.
  • Diabetes: likewise, your entire nervous system can be negatively influenced by diabetes (especially in your extremities). one of the areas particularly likely to be harmed are the nerves in the ear. Hearing loss can be fully caused by this damage. But diabetes-related nerve damage can also make you more vulnerable to hearing loss caused by other factors, often compounding your symptoms.
  • Vertigo and falls: your principal tool for balance is your inner ear. Vertigo and dizziness can be caused by some types of hearing loss because they have a damaging impact on the inner ear. Falls are more and more dangerous as you age and falls can occur whenever there is a loss of balance
  • Dementia: untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of dementia, although the root cause of that relationship is unclear. Many of these incidents of dementia and also cognitive decline can be slowed, according to research, by wearing hearing aids.
  • Cardiovascular disease: hearing loss and cardiovascular conditions are not necessarily linked. In other instances, cardiovascular issues can make you more susceptible to hearing loss. The reason for this is that trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear is one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease. As that trauma escalates, your hearing may suffer as a result.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

It can seem a bit intimidating when you add all those health conditions together. But one thing should be kept in mind: huge positive impact can be gained by managing your hearing loss. Scientists and researchers recognize that if hearing loss is managed, the risk of dementia significantly lowers although they don’t really understand precisely why hearing loss and dementia manifest together in the first place.

So the best way to go, regardless of what comorbid condition you might be concerned about, is to have your hearing tested.

Part of an Ecosystem

This is the reason why health care professionals are rethinking the importance of how to treat hearing loss. Instead of being a somewhat limited and specific area of concern, your ears are seen as intimately linked to your general wellbeing. We’re starting to think about the body as an interconnected environment in other words. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated situation. So it’s significant to pay attention to your health as a whole.

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